Who needs the “A-Team” when you can have something much better (for your pet), the “SLVC Team”?

At Saint Leonard Veterinary Centre (SLVC) we are all animal lovers, with most of us having more than one fur baby ourselves. One of the things we pride ourselves on is the fact that we have a “see your own vet” policy; so whenever possible, every time you make an appointment you will see the same Veterinarian.

Trust is a key factor in the successful treatment of animals, especially when injections and/or invasive procedures are involved. It isn’t only the relationship between us and your pet that matters though, it’s also vitally important that you trust us and that you feel confident in our practice. To that end, I thought it might be nice for you to understand the roles that each of our staff members play in the SLVC team, and also to see what our passions are.

Here at Saint Leonard we have our own take on the saying that behind every great man is a great woman; we say that behind every great Veterinary team is a great reception and administrative crew. With that in mind this blog will concentrate on these two elements of our practice, with our Veterinary Nurses, trainee Nurses and Care Assistants taking centre stage next time.

First up to bat is Cat, our Practice Manager since 2016.Cat ensures that we run like a well-oiled machine; excuse the pun, but she has previously worked in the Aeronautics industry! You can’t question her animal-loving credentials because this lady has six dogs and six cats at home; yes, really! As well as travelling and cooking, Cat loves nothing more than exploring the Peak District National Park with her husband and their pooch-pack.

Alongside Cat is our Reception Manager, Annie, who has been part of our team since 2013. Annie’s beaming smile is a really effective stress-reliever; something I’m sure a lot of our clients will confirm when they’ve had worrisome visits to the practice. At home, Marco the Burmese Blue cat provides his own brand of “cat comfort” to Annie after she’s had a day at work. Cycling, running and spending time with her family are Annie’s other secrets to staying happy and healthy.

Lynn is another of our reception team having been with us at Saint Leonard for six months now; previously Lynn was a client here, so we must be doing something right for her to want to come to “the other side of the fence”. Her and her husband’s fur baby is a very gorgeous Rottweiler called Sasha who enjoys their attention and cuddles. Lynn also loves playing with her grandchildren; they keep her young at heart and very fit running around playing games with them!

Maraide is the final member of our reception team to introduce, but by no means least. Those clients who visit our Allestree practice will be very familiar with her friendly face and enthusiasm for her job. This lovely lady has been part of the Saint Leonard team for over a year and does a sterling job for us. Maraide will be the first to agree with me when I say that she is completely dog mad; she has eight Canine fur babies, all of whom are rescues. Canicross keeps them all fit, including Maraide, and she devotes all her spare time to these lucky pooches.

We now have three female vets and two male, the recruitment of James balanced the numbers! The first lady I would like to introduce is Nyika.

Nyika is the longest qualified Veterinarian in our team, having graduated in 1998. She now concentrates on small animal care, bringing a considerable wealth of knowledge and skills to our team. Nyika has previously owned a wide variety of animals including Goldfish, Dogs, Chickens and Horses, so I think it safe to say that she is a fully paid-up member of the animal lovers’ society too! Nyika has also bred working Labradors in the past; no doubt her deep interest in small animal reproduction and behaviour came in very handy in this sphere.

Sarah has been with us at Saint Leonard for six months, but already her skill as a gifted surgeon impresses us. Like the rest of the team, Sarah is keen to expand and improve her knowledge; currently she is studying towards her Certificate in Surgery. Sarah and I make up the (surgical) dream team as she prefers soft tissue surgery, whereas I prefer Orthopaedic (bone) procedures. You could say that we share the “surgical spirit” (I know, bad pun!). In her downtime Sarah enjoys swimming and cycling; she also recently ran the London Marathon, achieving an excellent time. Another thing in her life that helps Sarah relax is her feline fur-baby; purr-fect!

Dotty joined the Saint Leonard team just over a year ago and is one of the friendliest people you could wish to meet. Dotty loves internal Medicine and Cardiology, so if your pet needs an Ultrasound scan it’s more than likely that they will be in her skilled hands. Away from work Dotty has two cats to keep her entertained and out of mischief! We like to think of ourselves as a modern, progressive practice, so in this multi-lingual, multi-cultural era it comes in handy that Dotty is Polish; her excellent communication skills and amazing demeanour mean that our clients who struggle with English are well served by Saint Leonard Veterinary Centre.

Our newest recruit is James who qualified from Nottingham University in July of this year. James has literally taken to the role of Assistant Veterinarian like a duck to water and is a joy to have around the place. In his spare time James loves to hand glide and he has a stamp collection second to non.

Bringing up the rear in the Veterinary team is Yours Truly, Karl. I graduated from the Royal Veterinary College, London in 2007 (wow, I can’t believe that it’s been a decade already) and I absolutely love what I do. My main focus is surgery and I’m always looking to improve my knowledge; this is what drove me to gain Advanced Practitioner Status from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, something only 2% of UK vets currently hold. If I’m not at the beck-and-call of Ziggy and Simba (my cats) then my rescue dogs Poppy and Dotty, who I got from Angels Small Paws Rescue, have me wrapped around their cute little paws. On the rare occasion that I’m not in my role as human gopher to my furry masters and mistresses I like to work up a sweat in the Gym or Cycle, or just chillax with my friends. I also enjoy a round or two of golf, although given my par at the moment I think Rory and Tiger are safe if they meet me!

As you can see, the Veterinary team has a fantastic mix of Surgical and Medical skills in it, as well as several decades of knowledge between us all. Having cast the skills net far and wide means that you can be sure your beloved pet is in exceptionally good hands here at Saint Leonard. The fact that we own pets ourselves means we truly do understand your worries and concerns; we are there for you at every step of your pets’ journey with us.

Get ready to meet the other part of our wonderful team, our Veterinary Nurses, Trainees, and Care Assistants, in the next blog post. Until then stay safe, stay healthy, and be happy!